“What did you just say?” Kamil thundered again, feeling the bolts in his head jolt loose and his sanity falling apart like the drop of a porcelain vase on tiled floor.
Abeebat tilted her head high, standing her ground. “You heard me the first time.”
She could see she had succeeded in driving him over the edge this time. He had seemed impenetrable and it frustrated her.
Kamil stomped over to her, glaring at her with a pained and contemptuous expression that instantly had Abeebat wondering if she had not gone overboard.
“I don’t know what you heard or who you heard it from,” Kamil started, through gritted teeth, “But like you said, you haven’t lost anyone dear to you,” He raised a finger to her face. “So don’t you go opening your careless mouth, blabbing rubbish like you know any fucking thing about me. Okay?” Kamil calmly but sternly warned with shaky lips.
The whole of his being vibrated in anger as he struggled to keep himself at bay. A girl was not going to make him lose control. Not a girl.
He continued to glare at Abeebat for a while before finally walking out of the classroom, not wanting to be provoked any further.
Abeebat started to catch her breath. She didn’t realize that she had stopped breathing. She looked over her shoulder as Kamil walked away.
Oh God. What had she just done?
The bell now tolled, succeeded by the time keeper’s voice signifying the break was over. Meanwhile Abeebat’s tummy now rumbled. She had succeeded in stirring anger in someone when she was supposed to rid her stomach of hunger.
She sighed in frustration as she wrapped her hands around her tummy. Now she was going to starve for the next two hours before their longest break time. Damn it!
Why had she not just gone about her business in the first place?! Why did she have to be so damn stubborn?! She sighed again, grimacing, before returning to the classroom to await their Economics teacher’s arrival.
** ** **
Mr Akinyele, their Economics teacher just left the classroom. And Abeebat, for the umpteenth time, glanced at the empty seat opposite her and felt her heart sink again. Kamil had ditched the class and she was certain that she had everything to do with it. She wished she had bridled her tongue earlier. She wished more that she hadn’t uttered that last statement to him. That was the only thing she said that really seemed to get to him.
Her attention turned to Dimeji and Sodiq, who were about to leave the class but stopped by Miss Tolu, their English teacher, who also doubled as their class teacher. She seemed to have collided with them as she was stepping in.
“No, you guys can’t leave the class. Thank God I caught you guys in time. You are always stabbing classes. Now back to your seats!” She yelled.
Instinctively, she looked around now, as if searching for someone. “Where is Kamil?” She asked the class as Dimeji and Sodiq returned to their seats, left with no choice. Abeebat watched Dimeji as he sauntered back to his seat, cursing under his breath. She knew they wanted to go and find out where their friend was. They hadn’t paid attention to Mr Akinyele, just like she, as they were busy wondering why their friend was absent from class.
“Not in class,” Some students replied loudly to Miss Tolu’s question.
“I see,” Miss Tolu said, nodding her head knowingly to Dimeji and Sodiq. “I will deal with him later.” She promised.
Abeebat sighed again, shaking her head. What had she done?
** ** **
Kamil was seated in an upright position, with his knees jutting out in front of him, and his back against the roughly plastered wall in the uncompleted building. He kept mulling over a line as he dragged slowly from the cigarette he had lit earlier.
“…losing someone doesn’t mean you should lose yourself too.”
From the corner of his eyes, he could see Dimeji, Sodiq and Lolade strolling into the building, towards him. He continued to smoke nevertheless, acting like they were all invisible.
Dimeji laughed as he moved nearer to him. “Guy, you dey enjoy oo. Why did you not inform us na, since you wanted to stab class and have fun?”
Sodiq was quiet. He could read in-between the lines. Something was wrong with Kamil. He could sense it.
Dimeji bent now, bidding to pick up the pack of cigarette that was beside Kamil but Kamil grabbed his hand in time. Dimeji frowned. He was confused. “Why you dey hold my hand na?”
Kamil looked up at him. “It’s only one left inside and I need it.”
Dimeji stood up, looking both surprised and dazed at the same time. He clapped his hands now, laughing sarcastically. “When did you become stingy Kamil?”
“Are you okay?” Sodiq finally spoke, perusing Kamil.
Kamil now puffed blue smoke from his mouth and notrils, saying nothing.
Lolade who had been standing, watching the whole scenario, walked to her boyfriend and tried to take a seat beside him but was gently shoved away by Kamil’s arm. “I want to be alone.” He said, facing a confused Lolade.
She rose up sharply, outrightly upset. “Is that how to treat your girlfriend?!”
Kamil raised his head up, facing his friends. “Guys, I want to be alone.”
Dimeji chuckled, wondering what had gone loose in his friend’s head again. “Let’s go guys. Mr Kammy wants to be alone. He needs no friend.” He said, derisively.
When Dimeji saw that Sodiq was still rooted to the spot watching Kamil with concerned eyes, he huffed and then dragged an upset Lolade along with him, out of the building.
Abeebat almost stumbled on a stone as she hurriedly went on to hide behind the uncompleted building. Dimeji and his peeps had better not know that she had been spying on them. She watched as Dimeji and Lolade found their way back to the school premises before carefully returning to the position from where she had been spying on them.
She could see Sodiq talking to Kamil now. “I know you are bothered about something. When you are ready to talk, let me know.” Sodiq said gently before turning to leave.
“Wait,” Kamil said, stopping him.
Sodiq turned around to him and watched as his friend slightly adjusted to remove something from his back pocket.
“Take,” Kamil said, handing over some thousand notes to him.
Sodiq stared down at the money in his hand and then back at Kamil with puppy eyes.
“Grandma just sent me cash.” Kamil started dutifully, facing his friend. “Go and deposit that one in the hospital. She should send me more next week. Then you can go deposit more.”
Sodiq did his best in holding back a tear. He didn’t know how he was going to repay this kindness. Kamil’s selflessness was second to none.
Kamil had been the one saving the life of his younger brother who had been bedridden for months. He had been the one helping him and his financially unstable family.
He had no idea how to return the unending kind gestures. He just wished his friend could be forever happy and truly free of all unsaid things trapped in the closet of his heart. “Thank you, man.” Sodiq simply said, with a hoarse voice. He dared not cry. He was a man.
The least he could do was thank him sincerely.
Abeebat ran to her hiding spot again as Sodiq exited the building. She stepped out of her hiding place after the coast was clear, resuming spying, but this time, she watched Kamil with a kind of tenderness as he resumed his smoking.
She soon took her eyes off him, batting her lashes, regurgitating and ruminating on Bimbo’s words.
“…Kamil was never like them… He used to be a good boy.”
So what the really happened? Abeebat wondered, turning to stare at him again.
Thanks For Reading this Episode.
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